The German-Russian Manager Training Programme prepares executives from Russia for business relations and economic cooperations with German companies – with success on both sides. Every year, around 150 Russian executives participate in the practice-oriented training. They come from companies with foreign trade potential wishing to establish contact with Germany. The focus is on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to the motto of “Fit for Partnership with Germany”, the participants undertake a one-month programme in Germany. Each group comprises 20 participants. During their stay, they acquire management expertise, gain an insight into German business practices, and establish contacts with German companies. The programme is aimed at executives from the middle and upper management levels of Russian companies and is in principle open to all branches.
Decisive to the programme’s success is the right mix of imparting knowledge and business practice.
- The participants learn the specifics of the German business culture, and improve their business demeanour and negotiating techniques in interactive and practice-oriented training sessions.
- Visits to companies from a range of industries provide working examples from German business. The participants gain practical knowledge of German companies first hand, and familiarise themselves with the modern technology and equipment there. They also come into direct contact with potential business partners.
Outcomes and perspectives to date
Since 1998, over 300 Russian groups with a total of around 5933 executives have participated in the programme in Germany. The programme has evolved considerably over this period and been adjusted to the developing needs of the Russian business sector: initially the programme served more to stabilise the Russian business sector, allowing participants to enhance their own expertise and tackle the restructuring of Russian businesses. Nowadays, the focus is also on varied cooperation projects and direct business relations here: in Germany, programme participants have the opportunity to learn about modern technology in companies or at trade fairs, and to reach decisions on the purchase of systems and materials. They can meet with potential business partners in person, conduct talks or preliminary negotiations, and above all introduce their own company and products.
The results are extremely promising so far: the company contacts have led to a great many mutually-beneficial agreements being reached. The new links to the German business sector have culminated in the establishment of joint ventures, the export of products to Germany or the EU, and the development of new business ideas. The resulting modernisation of the business or development of new products very often leads to an increase in the company’s competitiveness.
Bilateral agreements between the two countries
In June 2016, the government agreement for continuation of the programme was extended once again in Berlin. The programme is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH was appointed General Manager for coordination from the German side. Within the Russian Federation, the Federal Resource Centre based in Moscow acts as implementing organisation.